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Submission + - National Park Service Says Tech Enabling Stupidity 2

theodp writes: The National Park Service is finding technology to be a double-edged sword. While new technologies can and do save lives, the NPS is also finding that unseasoned hikers and campers are now boldly going where they never would have gone before, counting on cellphones, GPS, and SPOT devices to bail them out if they get into trouble. Last fall, a group of hikers in the Grand Canyon called in rescue helicopters three times by pressing the emergency button on their satellite location device. When rangers arrived the second time, the hikers complained that their water supply tasted salty. 'Because of having that electronic device, people have an expectation that they can do something stupid and be rescued,' said a spokeswoman for Grand Teton National Park. 'Every once in a while we get a call from someone who has gone to the top of a peak, the weather has turned and they are confused about how to get down and they want someone to personally escort them. The answer is that you are up there for the night.'

Facebook Leads To Increase In STDs in Britain 270

ectotherm writes "According to Professor Peter Kelly, a director of Public Health in Great Britain: 'There has been a four-fold increase in the number of syphilis cases detected, with more young women being affected.' Why the increase? People meeting up for casual sex through Facebook. According to the article, 'Social networking sites are making it easier for people to meet up for casual sex. There is a rise in syphilis because people are having more sexual partners than 20 years ago and often do not use condoms.'"

Prolonged Gaming Blamed For Rickets Rise 254

superapecommando writes "Too many hours spent playing videogames indoors is contributing to a rise in rickets, according to a new study by doctors. Professor Simon Pearce and Dr Tim Cheetham of Newcastle University have written a paper in the British Medical Journal which warns of the rickets uptake – a disease which sufferers get when deficient in Vitamin D. The study boils down to the fact that as more people play videogames indoors they don't get enough sunlight and this has meant the hospitals are now having to combat a disease that was last in the papers around the time Queen Victoria was on the throne." At least the kids are eating enough snacks with iodized salt that we don't have to worry about goiters.

Submission + - So What's the Bad Wiring Advice?

Residentcur writes: The popular press is full of stories about a recall of Sunset DIY books on home wiring. The recall is based on supposed bad advice contained in these books and going back three decades, but neither the government body responsible for it nor the publisher is willing to say what the problem is. In my view, it defies logic that this should be kept secret, since presumably many will fail to turn in these dangerous books and may well continue to follow their guidance going forward. No doubt someone in possession of such a book could scour it for at least a likely explanation for the recall. So far I have been unable to find even a speculation about the nature of the bad advice, amongst all the "this will teach you not to try to do it yourself" drivel. Can anyone enlighten this avid home electrician what to look out for in these books?

Duke Nukem 3D Ported To Nokia N900 95

andylim writes "It looks as if Duke Nukem isn't completely 'nuked' after all. Someone has ported the 90s classic on to a Nokia N900. As you'll see in the video, you control Duke using the Qwerty keypad and shoot using the touchscreen. I'm wondering how long it will take for this to get on other mobile platforms." In other Duke news, reader Jupix points out that 3D Realms' CEO Scott Miller recently said, "There are numerous other Duke games in various stages of development, several due out this year. We are definitely looking to bring Duke into casual gaming spaces, plus there are other major Duke games in production."

The Speed Gamers Raise Over $26,000 For Charity 65

Levonn Lawrence writes "Moving into day four of seven, The Speed Gamers (TSG) continue to play a Final Fantasy marathon for an unusual reason: charity. The guys at TSG are playing through every main Final Fantasy game, from one to twelve, over a period of seven days in hopes or raising $50,000 for ACT Today (Autism Care and Treatment). The marathon is streamed live for people to watch. ACT is a charity helping to financially support families effected by Autism. The marathon started 6pm CST, Friday, July 17th, 2009 and is going until Friday, July 24th 2009. So far they've raised over $26,000 (not a typo) and they're only 89 hours in."

Submission + - Sex in Space Book Creates Controversy

An anonymous reader writes: Sex in Space Book Creates Controversy

A new book called SEX IN SPACE by science journalist Laura Woodmansee ( is causing controversy in NASA circles. The author wrote about it for NASAWATCH and blogged about it here:
Sex in Space: the Official Blog:

Sex in Space: Bizarre Reactions
by Laura Woodmansee
[Originally posted on and on 30 October 2006]

I am amazed how many people in the United States are so intimidated by the word "sex" and are unwilling to discuss its consequences. My latest book, Sex in Space, tackles both the fun and serious sides of this currently neglected topic. It's not just my opinion that the possibilities of sex in space need more attention. This is the recommendation of a 2005 report from the US National Academies of Science. Yet I have encountered all sorts of bizarre problems when bringing up the topic of sex in space. Apparently, some people just don't understand that the book is intended to spark the public's interest in space exploration, settlement, and tourism. To illustrate my case, here are some examples.

Sex in Space was sold at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) store for the first month after Apogee Books released the book. It was doing very well, so the store manager invited me to do a book signing. The trouble began as soon as a cheery book-signing announcement was emailed to all personnel at JPL. Unbeknownst to me, the store simply isn't allowed to do book signings because JPL can't be seen as endorsing a commercial product. The JPL store personnel simply made a mistake by booking my signing. However, what happened next is ridiculous. First, a liaison to the store e-mailed an announcement to all personnel — thousands of people at JPL — citing "ethical reasons" for the cancellation of the signing. This, of course, prompted many people to contact me to ask exactly what it was that I did wrong.

The implication is that I did something unethical. I've done nothing wrong, which the JPLers involved have assured me of via several telephone conversations. A simple clarification sent to the same distribution list (all personnel) as the previous announcement would have fixed things. To date, no such email has been sent. Second, those involved ordered my Sex in Space books pulled from the store. Apparently the title "Sex in Space" is just too racy. Perhaps I should have titled my book, "The Possibilities of Human Reproduction Beyond Earth." Oh, yes, the general public would have been so interested.

Unfortunately, my experience with JPL isn't unique. My publishers told me that all of the other NASA centers, as well as several space museums, are unwilling to carry Sex in Space. These are the same stores that stock and restock my other two books, which are aimed at young women (Women Astronauts, and Women of Space: Cool Careers on the Final Frontier). Fortunately, regular bookstores are stocking Sex in Space.

In addition, I have been kicked off a space tourism discussion panel because the seminar sponsor, a conservative California space organization, doesn't like the title of my new book. I wasn't even asked what I would be presenting about on the panel. Anyone who knows me knows that I'm not one to discuss graphic details or use vulgar language. I'm not that kind of journalist — or woman, for that matter.

In Sex in Space I cite other cases in the past where people — even NASA scientists and engineers — have received strong criticism, and were even silenced, for bringing up the topic of "sex" in the context of long-duration space missions. It's an important topic that certain people and organizations are not willing to face. This reaction is childish and shortsighted.
I hope that my little book makes the people who are working on space exploration, settlement, and tourism really consider the consequences of the nature of humanity. Let's face it, sex is the way we humans reproduce. The Universe created us to be this way. So I find it very sad that certain people feel they need to repress this natural part of being human.

I'm a wife, a mother, and a concerned journalist who is trying to open people's eyes to what is turning into a very serious problem of the not-so-distant future. To ignore the sexual and reproductive issues surrounding people in space will not make them go away. Future long-duration space missions and the possibility of space tourist couples in the next decade make the topic more urgent than ever. My fear is that the first serious look at sex in space will occur when birth control fails (because drug absorption in space is less, or maybe fluids behave differently in space) and we have a radiated fetus in space in danger of having horrific birth defects. Now is the time to study the sex in space topic seriously and shed our Puritanical ignorance.

The book is for sale on Amazon and bookstores everywhere.
The Courts

Submission + - UK police packing helmet-cams

Sunil Mahara writes: Police in London are using helmet-mounted cameras to record the street-loitering transgressions of delinquent youths. The damning video evidence is then served up in court to expedite the granting of Anti-Social Behaviour Orders (so-called ASBOs) — a particular policy crutch of the Blair government.
United States

Submission + - UCLA tasing incident, another side to the story

not already in use writes: The UCLA tasing incident is certainly a touchy subject, and anyone who has seen the video witnesses what could be considered police brutality. Unfortunately, the video doesn't present the entire story. There have been eyewitness reports that the tasered student was looking for a fight, and refused requests by the campus patrol (who are students) to leave the premises, all before the police were called in. A quote on the students FaceBook page is reported to have said "I like to find the most difficult solutions to the simplest of problems" before it was taken down following the incident.

I think it is important to remember that, to the police, he wasn't a student because he was unable to present ID. What if, for the sake of discussion, he had intended to cause harm and the police didn't act with force? What would the headlines be saying then? Read the eyewitness report over at the Tucker Max forum.

Submission + - The Viral Marketing of Borat on YouTube

eldavojohn writes: "There's a pretty entertaining article about how Sacha Baron Cohen exploited Google before his movie Borat hit theatres. From the article, "The virtually free viral marketing campaign surrounding the movie — much of it available on YouTube — has taken full advantage of the web buzz. The sheer number of video clips related to Borat on YouTube (which Google owns) is over 2,000, with comments running somewhere in the six-digits." Before I saw the movie last weekend, I watched around 6-7 minutes of footage of it on YouTube. This worked so well that I think all movies & shows should "leak" two minute clips to YouTube instead of demanding they be taken down."
Operating Systems

Submission + - Charity shuns open source code

brown-eyed slug writes: "The BBC has an article explaining Christian Aid's decision to use Microsoft software in preference to Linux. It re-opens the classic debate about the total cost of ownership, highlighting the wider availability of Microsoft skills, as well as the beneficial pricing policy of the Seattle giant.

From the article
" of the things that we find is that Microsoft is viewed as the big, bad organisation — but they've actually got some good corporate social responsibility. If you're a charity or an educational institution, you pay pence in the pound for the licence, compared to what a major bank might pay."
Linux Business

Submission + - Linux desktop is dead... say IT bosses

An anonymous reader writes: The Linux desktop is dead in the water according to in fact Mac OS X stands a better chance of wisespread adoption, they say. They've also spoken to a group of UK CIOs who pretty much all say the same.

The CIO of Betfair said: "At the moment there are too many options for the Linux desktop to support mass market tools. A more likely Unix on the desktop is Mac OS X."

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